Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Rattle By Fiona Cummins

Publication date: 26 January 2017

Published by: Pan Macmillan

Purchase from Amazon here

What’s it all about?

A serial killer to chill your bones A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter. He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he's just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family's macabre museum. Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt. Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs. What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey's father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions. Set in London's Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge. It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it's also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.

What did I think?

Wow! The first line of the synopsis set the bar high – a psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter?! This was followed swiftly by me reading that Rattle is Fiona Cummins’s debut novel. Oh right, I thought, shaking my head and feeling a bit deflated. There is no way a debut author can create a character of that calibre.

I started the first few chapters, and having expecting to be bitterly disappointed I found the opposite, I was hooked. This man is a sicko!! He has his eye like an eagle watching his prey, waiting for the right time to swoop in and take his chances. As he swoops so starts the nightmare that leads to dark places. He is pursued primarily by Etta Fitzroy who is a Detective in the Met Police. Having been through some tough times she has become a hard cookie, but she has a soft centre. Will she be able to work out who he is? Will we as readers? Will she catch up with him and put a stop to him or will he get away scot free? So many questions, so many twists and turns, and so much to say – but I can’t as I wouldn’t want to give anything away and spoil it for other readers.

What I can say is that is a truly accomplished piece of writing. Dark, gritty, intelligently written, well researched and with strong characters, Rattle had a bit of everything that I love in a great book. The ‘baddie’ really felt grimy, nasty and I almost shudder in disgust when I think of him. On the other hand, Etta Fitzroy is a great Detective, and I loved getting to know both characters. I felt like there was a real opportunity to get to understand Etta more clearly as the story progressed, and I would compare her to strong female detective leads in other established authors work.

The book is written in a sophisticated way using a wide vocabulary that had me reaching for the vocab button on my kindle to look up words on more than one occasion. Being so descriptive helped bring the book to life even more for me. I love to be able to visualize a scene, and in these scenes I could imagine not only how they looked, but how they smelt and sounded too.

Does the psychopath freak me out more than Hannibal Lecter? I have been pondering this all day. For me they are different beasts, each of which have their unique personalities and how shall I say modus operandi. Both of which are captivating and scary as hell!

If you are a fan of thrillers with a touch of grisly, and if you are a fan of Karin Slaughter, Robert Bryndza or the man himself, Thomas Harris I think you would enjoy Rattle.

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